Fitting that we ran a story yesterday regarding Dr. Dre's continued toiling on The Detox, as his protégé 50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson) is now -- shockingly --in the headlines. You may recall a good-natured open letter Taco Bell aired to the public recently, encouraging 50 to "think outside the bun" and alter his surname to 79, 89, or 99 cent. Some time later, the MC reportedly got wind of the promotion, as well as sporadic fan outcries of "sellout," and has subsequently sicked his legal team on the franchise to the tune of $4 million. The papers ostensibly accuse the Gordita-peddling purveyors of using his name unjustly and without permission, and in such a way that has besmirched his reputation.
Now, we're in no position to debate how seriously a man who openly shills his supposedly authentic persona to Vitamin Water and Reebok should safeguard his good name. And let's not even get into the fact that by the very nature of its campaign, Taco Bell made no clear insinuations of 50's direct involvement, and probably shouldn't be held responsible for some 15-year-old message board languisher's lack of inference. But given his lawsuit against advertising agency Traffix, Inc. last year (for allegedly using his likeness in one of those silly shoot-the-celeb cartoon banner ads) and general prevailing interest in currency, one has to gather his lawyers clued him in to a possible money-in-the-bank scenario, followed by his PR team providing righteously enraged ammo for related interviews.
So, always keeping the interests of 50 or any other member of G-Unit in mind, we brainstormed a few other targets the platinum-selling superstar and his legal entourage might want to shake down for loose change:
To see the list of potential 50 Cent lawsuit victims, keep reading on page 2.
The U.S. Mint
Its resulting coins and greenbacks may not conjure his likeness, a la Traffix, Inc.'s controversial banner ads, but the U.S Mint's moolah indisputably connotes value that equals or adds up to the very total indicated by his MC moniker. If 50 wants true liberty for his credibility, he should head to the Mint in Philadelphia and demand they cease production on half-dollars, and eliminate the penny by simply incorporating its single-cent status into the base worth of nickels, dime, or any other silver ne'er-do-wells.
How Israeli-American rapper Aviad Cohen, aka 50 Shekel, avoided the courtroom ire of 50 Cent is confounding, to say the least. Perhaps it's because the "Jew Unit" leader eschewed his life of holy hedonism and found a savior he and his namesake likely have closer in common -- Jesus. But despite Shekel's shedding of his previous persona, wouldn't it behoove the still-active 50 to seek out any of the artist formerly known as Shekel's past download sales or concert-income receipts and pillage the former funnyman's accumulated earnings?
How dare you taunt us with your delectable chocolate-covered gummy bears and salty, salty cashews, candy website galore as if you didn't know you were playing a perilous game of Russian Roulette with both our taste buds and your own livelihood? Sure, you may have trademarked the name for Internet commerce purposes and secured the domain way back when through Go Daddy after you saw that Super Bowl ad. But 50 has clearly eclipsed all previously existing formal connotations of the phrase in popular consciousness with his worldwide smash, "Candy Shop." Thereby, you, oh devilish online confectionary destination, surely owe him retroactive royalties for any incidental traffic driven your way.
The Jackson 5:Why stop at interest-conflicting usages of your stage name? After all, Michael, Jermaine, Tito, and the bunch not only share the Jackson surname, but included in their collective branding one-half of the double-digit numerical quantifier that signifies your microphone mastery. Using the aforementioned logic in the case against Thecandyshop.com, a few confused, or perhaps reading-impaired, record purchasers -- having seen your name so often in headline-grabbing legalese -- invariably snagged a copy of the Jackson 5's 1984 opus Victory rather than your record-shattering 2005 earth-shaker The Massacre. Besides, you're just about the only onenot suing Michael Jackson for being molested.
Have any further suggestions of how 50 Cent can find ways other than making records to fund, say, a second dance club in his gigantic mansion? Post below.